Respirators are personal protective equipment devices used to protect individuals from inhaling harmful particles, gases, or vapors. They work by filtering the air that the wearer breathes in, removing harmful substances from the air before it reaches their lungs. These are commonly used in industries like construction, mining, and healthcare to protect workers from airborne hazards.
There are two types of respirators, and these include:
- Air-purifying respirators: These filter the air that the wearer breathes.
- Supplied-air respirators: These provide clean air from a separate source.
When You Should Use Respirator
Workers should only use respirators to protect themselves against air pollutants if alternative hazard management measures are impractical or impossible. Respirators should not be employed as the primary preventative measure to provide adequate respiratory protection in the workplace. They should only be utilized for the following:
- When problems or other temporary situations arise (for example, maintenance operations),
- When the “hierarchy of control” is impractical (for example, replacement, engineering, or administrative constraints),
Who Should Not Wear a Respirator
Breathing using a respirator is harder than breathing normally. Adults and children who suffer from lung diseases like emphysema or asthma and those who are overweight may have trouble breathing. People with claustrophobia may find that they cannot utilize full-face masks or hooded respirators.
Furthermore, individuals with visual impairments may have difficulty seeing while wearing a mask or hood (unique masks are available for persons who use glasses). Before using a respirator, employees must be medically assessed.
Restrictions or Cautions While Using Respirators
Respirators are available in various styles, each with restrictions, limits, and measures. Tight-fitting respirators need fit testing, cannot be employed with facial hair, and have a nose clip, and mouthpiece squeezed between teeth. Some respirators do not allow the individual wearing them to communicate, while others are equipped with speaking diaphragms or electronic communication devices.
Furthermore, contaminated respirators must be properly sanitized, decontaminated, or disposed away. All respirators need training to be used appropriately. You may sometimes practice using your respirator. Some escape respirators arrive in closed packaging, which must be broken open before using the device. Consequently, it will benefit you to be taught in a certain “practise” version. Training is essential for storing, maintaining, using, and disposing of the respirator.